A crowd of almost 27,000 witnessed Billy Davies’ first win since his return to Nottingham Forest as his side ran out 6-1 winners over Huddersfield Town at The City Ground this evening.
A phenomenal first half hat-trick from Radoslaw Majewski and a perfectly executed header from Elliott Ward sent The Reds into the break 4-1 up after James Vaughan had originally given The Terriers the lead on ten minutes.
Henri Lansbury made it five in the second half before Darius Henderson put the icing on the cake with an excellent header at the death.
Davies made one change from the side which drew 1-1 with Bolton as Dexter Blackstock replaced Billy Sharp, who had to settle for a place on the bench.
The visitors gave Forest a scare within two minutes when Vaughan’s spectacular overhead kick hit the post.
The Reds issued an immediate response through Simon Cox, but the striker’s header after Chris Cohen’s cross was tame and easy for Alex Smithies.
Forest were then called into two pieces of stout defending on nine minutes - first Greg Halford timed his lunge perfectly to block Adam Clayton’s shot from just outside the area, then Ward had to be on hand to halt Neil Danns after the ball broke to him 25 yards out.
But it was only to be a temporary reprieve as The Terriers took the lead a minute later.
Oliver Norwood’s cross found Vaughan in the middle and the former Everton striker sent a perfectly-executed volley beyond Karl Darlow.
On 13 minutes, Lansbury found Cox in the area but he could only send his shot bobbling across Smithies’ goal and wide of the far post.
But the scores were level eight minutes later.
Lansbury burst into the box and managed to break through one-on-one with Smithies. He went to fire beyond the ‘keeper from point blank range but miscued and sent the ball in Majewski’s direction. The Pole applied a simple finish and the game was back in the balance.
And Smithies barely had time to pick himself up before it was 2-1.
Norwood tripped Majewski down the right and Ward glanced Andy Reid’s free kick into the far corner to complete a quickfire turnaround.
Sean Scannell led the retort and on 27 minutes shrugged off Adlene Guedioura near the edge of the area before firing an effort straight at Darlow with the outside of his boot.
Then came a manic spell at the other end. Blackstock met Majewski’s corner with purpose but his header took a deflection and hit the bar. The ball broke to Guedioura whose shot couldn’t make it through a crowd of bodies.
Moments later, Lansbury sent Halford to the byline before failing to connect first-time with the return ball. It went all the way through to Majewski who flashed high and wide.
Forest were determined to extend their lead and Lansbury continued his involvement on 34 minutes - first meeting Majewski’s deep cross only to be crowded out by Smithies before picking it up again, skipping away from Lynch in the area and scuffing his shot well wide.
The midfielder was involved yet again three minutes later - but this time it counted.
Guedioura’s low left-footed cross was controlled by the ex-Arsenal man, who backheeled beautifully for Blackstock to roll into Majewski’s path. The playmaker met his shot impeccably and sent it low, hard and beyond Smithies from 20 yards.
Town were on the ropes and had Smithies to thank for tipping Reid’s free kick wide after ex-Red Joel Lynch had hacked down Guedioura on the edge of the ‘D’.
But Majewski added a sensational fourth to seal a brilliant first half hat-trick with two minutes to play before the break.
Cox’s dummy was delightful but the strike which followed was even better - a rasping effort from 30 yards which skimmed Smithies’ crossbar on its way into the back of the net.
It was the perfect end to an incredible half of football.
And justice was done after the interval as on 55 minutes Lansbury finally marked an all-action performance with a goal.
His jinking run took him into the area and he rolled a left-footed effort beyond Smithies and into the net.
Vaughan, Jack Hunt and Oscar Gobern all then had efforts on goal as the visitors desperately sought a way back into the game.
Amidst the pressure, Danny Collins replaced Ward.
Darlow was then forced to save brilliantly from Scott Arfield after the substitute had wriggled through one-on-one just after the hour.
Davies then sent on Lewis McGugan for Lansbury on 68 minutes and Henderson replaced Blackstock with a quarter of an hour to go.
A minute later Vaughan missed a golden opportunity to notch his second when he was played clean through over the top. Darlow wasn’t even tested this time, however, as the striker’s awful finish sailed well wide.
With two minutes to go, Cox produced a superb one-handed save from Smithies after picking it up in the area before the keeper held a McGugan free kick in the first minute of stoppage time.
But it was 6-1 with seconds to play as Henderson headed home Reid’s cross to give the game its perfect conclusion.
Forest: Darlow, Jara Reyes, Ward (Collins 58'), Halford, Cohen (c), Lansbury (McGugan 68'), Guedioura, Majewski, Reid, Cox, Blackstock (Henderson 75')
Subs not used: Evtimov, Moussi, Greening, Sharp
Scorers: Majewski 21', 37', 43', Ward 24', Lansbury 55', Henderson 90'
Huddersfield: Smithies, Woods, Norwood (Gobern 58'), Clarke (c), Scannell (Arfield 46'), Clayton, Novak (Sinnott 74'), Vaughan, Danns, Hunt, Lynch
Subs not used: Bennett, Dixon, Gerrard, Lee
Scorer: Vaughan 10'
Bookings: Lynch 41', Clayton 69'
Referee: Paul Tierney
Attendance: 26,938 (Away: 1,452)